Pour a cup of Joe, get comfy in your favorite chair, and settle in for a spell: My longer form, weekend reading:

• What We’ve Learned from the Financial Crisis (Harvard Business Review)
• Jay Z Has the Room (Vanity Fair)
• The secrets of shopping (Capital Ideas)
• In defense of the EMH (Noahpinion)
• The Year of Living Carlos Dangerously (GQ)
• 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential (Scientific American)
• The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath (NYT)
• Ezra Klein: Thus Far, Obamacare a ‘Big Failure’ (The Corner) but see The Truth About Obamacare and How It Solves the Suffering of the Insured (Vanity Fair)
• Machines Gauging Your Star Potential Automate HR Hiring (Bloomberg)
• What You Need to Know About the Toxins in Your Groceries (Discover)

Whats up for the weekend?


The iPhone company
Source: Asymco

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

24 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. chartist says:

    This adoption S curve and Apple’s growth curve remind me of the desktop PC curve and Dell computer. And we know how things are going lately for Dell. Without innovation to maintain profit margins, Apple will go the way of Dell and I suspect their best days are behind it.

  2. greydogg says:

    James Petras: Empire Building, the Debt Ceiling the Budget Deficit and the Samson Solution @ http://99getsmart.com/empire-building-the-debt-ceiling-the-budget-deficit-and-the-samson-solution/

  3. osheth says:

    Barry, check out this handy infographic on when to check your email. Hint: If you want to create more time, stop checking your email.

  4. Bam_Man says:

    More Apple bashing. Yes, of course it’s obvious that their enterprise value is on its way back close to zero. There will be no more innovation, the installed user base will all flee en masse and their strategy to become an Asian luxury brand will also be a miserable failure. Short it with both hands. Any questions?

    • How on earth does this chart showing all of the financial benefits the iPhone brought to Apple somehow = Apple bashing?
      Next time, you might want to read the article before opening your pie hole.

      No soup for you, come back one year

      • Bam_Man says:

        The derivative of log function plot on the “Enterprise Value” chart has AAPL’s share price at about $25 in 2020.

  5. Been Around 1963 says:

    Re: What We’ve Learned from the Financial Crisis I first did a word search for “fraud” and came up empty handed. I don’t see how anyone can learn too much about the financial crisis without considering the impact of mortgage fraud and financial fraud.

    • 5 key points prior to my telling you to fuck off:

      1. Your mechanical approach to comprehending complex events is really quite wanting. That one author chose to focus on something other than your pet peeve (Fraud) only suggests that there might be many other factors involved.
      2. Fraud, incidentally is something we have discussed repeatedly around here as one of the causes of the crisis.
      3. I don’t care if you like it or not. You have no obligation to link to it on your blog. BUT YOU MUST READ THE PIECE BEFORE COMMENTING ON IT YOU LAZY GIT
      4. Justin Fox (the author of the HBR article) wrote an excellent book called “The Myth of the Rational Market” which look at the various schools of thought that led to the crisis. This article is similar to that.
      5. This article is here because I read, found it interesting and worthwhile, and wanted to share it with readers.

      Thats five. Fuck off

      • Been Around 1963 says:

        You are right.

        I read the title of the piece and made a wrongful assumption about its contents.

        i read the title of the piece and lazily assumed that it purported, like so many other academic books and articles with similar titles, to tell THE lessons of the crisis, while overlooking the culpability of key players.

        In fact, Mr. Fox’s article addresses the shortcomings in conventional wisdom among some economists with regard to policy during the run up to the crisis, and governments’ responses to the crisis. And he addresses them in a clear and cogent way.

        I didn’t mean to be dismissive of Mr. Fox’s work or your editorial judgement, even though it came out that way.

        My apologies.

  6. formerlawyer says:

    David Rothkopf has an opinion piece on the most recent political/fiscal disaster, while perhaps too balanced he does point to some problems in the national political discourse.

    Troubled science?

    • I found that economist piece to be very interesting and informative, but I am pretty sure it will be used inapporiately by all manner of cretins.

      • DeDude says:

        Agree, but I also found the article to be a little naive. It seemed to suggest that more restrictive peer review was the way forward. Unfortunately, peer review is often used to inappropriately prevent publication of papers that challenge previously held (false?) views. The real way forward is to have everything published but with commentaries that allow readers to point out flaws anonymously (without fear of retribution). This would help provide a “punishment” for publishing “poor” work. Scientists would be reluctant risking their reputation with a paper to which dozens of attached comments pointed out how poorly designed and executed their studies were.

      • cowboyinthejungle says:

        As a life scientist, I think there are some good issues raised, but a lot of whining about statistics in there, too. First, there are good reasons to prioritize prevention of false positives over false negatives. Second, one or even a few errors among maybe 20 experiments do not automatically discredit entire papers. I’ve gained insight AND called bullshit from the same paper many times.

        As far as reproducibility, many experiments turn out to be not reproducible, true. However, in most cases, this is not a big deal. Incorrect conclusions are weeded out of the collective consciousness over time. There is no need for paper B to refute paper A’s false results…The Big Picture (forgive the IP infringement) built by papers C-Z take care of it just fine. Selective memory is just as effective as self-correction in this context. There are cases in which wrong paradigms go un(der)-questioned, but in the end, even these eventually come crashing down under the weight of a growing body of knowledge. I won’t even delve into the practical aspects of repeating published studies…

        Lastly, negative results have always been a big problem. Not because there is so much negative data, but that they are swept under the rug during publishing in favor of this positive result bias. This serves no one, and an efficient archiving of negative results could be immensely useful in terms of improving resource allocation. Knowing what to rule out is always a big step in the right direction.

  7. Jojo says:

    Hey, maybe the baristas can be retrained as IT consultants? [roflol]
    An army of robot baristas could mean the end of Starbucks as we know it
    By Christopher Mims — October 17, 2013

    Starbucks’ 95,000 baristas have a competitor. It doesn’t need sleep. It’s precise in a way that a human could never be. It requires no training. It can’t quit. It has memorized every one of its customers’ orders. There’s never a line for its perfectly turned-out drinks.

    It doesn’t require health insurance.

    Don’t think of it as the enemy of baristas, insists Kevin Nater, CEO of the company that has produced this technological marvel. Think of it as an instrument people can use to create their ideal coffee experience. Think of it as a cure for “out-of-home coffee drinkers”–Nater’s phrase–sick of an “inconsistent experience.”

    Think of it as the future. Think of it as empowerment. Your coffee, your way, flawlessly, every time, no judgments. Four pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup in a 16 oz. half-caff soy latte? Here it is, delivered to you precisely when your smartphone app said it would arrive, hot and fresh and indistinguishable from the last one you ordered.


  8. Jojo says:

    Some stunning phot’s here!
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013
    Oct 18, 2013

    The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, founded in 1964, is an annual international showcase of the very best in nature photography. Owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide, the contest includes 18 individual categories, ranging from birds and mammals to “Creative Visions” and “Nature in Black & White.” This year, the 49th annual competition, drew tens of thousands of entries from dozens of countries. Starting today, the winning photos will be on exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London until March 23, 2014. The owners and sponsors have been kind enough to share the following 10 images from their group of overall winners. Be sure to visit their website to see all of the winners and find out more about the competition. [10 photos]


  9. romerjt says:

    Toxins in your groceries . . I now buy California rice b/c the pesticides used to kill the boll weevil states that used to grow a lot of cotton (the South) have arsenic residues . . just Google “arsenic cotton boll weevil” for a number of stories about this.

  10. Robert M says:

    I fail to understand how Ezra Klein has a column. The idea of comparing the network system for the ACA to Amazon is nonsense. The number of players and their interests are quite different at the pay level. For Amazon you enter/establish your account,browse and order, i.e. pay. When you go to pay for the product the outside vendors Amazon accepts are established business’ (VISA, Mastercard, et al) whom maintain their own safety protocols to protect you the consumer unlike in the healthcare.gov website. If you go online to examine the ACA products the experience is the same as at Amazon; it must be said that if there is a difference you dislike, just as you can on Amazon you can go the products website to receive info. If you go off the government website and are dissatisified the private, in many cases publicly held insurance companies have failed in their attempts to create a viable website to examine the product- as Barry pointed out in his examination of portfolio based on healthcare there are 5 million potential new customers so those failures are on them and not the government. those failures would be rates and products which were not exposed in PA by major healthcare insurance companies until Oct 1st unlike CA where the rates, products, tax credits, CSF’s and their accompanying calculators where published long before that date

    The glitch in the ACA network system takes place when you want to access the system for the purpose of obtaining the tax credits and the Cost Sharing features(CSF) to buy the product; pay. Here unlike the experience on Amazon multiple government agencies do the job of checking for fraud, income verification and citizenship in order to determine tax credits and CSF’s and then report back. Given that rates and other product info determines what the CSF’s are and this info only became available shortly before the Oct 1st rollout, the demand from the American public for health insurance one shouldn’t be surprised the system has roll out problems. Built into the system is help to resolve this type of problem is the fact that enrollment goes until Mar 31 of 2014.

    So I must ask again why does Mr Klein have a column when he doesn’t understand facts.

  11. wally says:

    Using the derivative of the logistic function is interesting… neglecting, of course, such ongoing revenue as i-tunes and replacement sales over time. That curve reminds me of Andy Grove’s philosophy at Intel – that you have to be your own competition, obsoleting and replacing your own products to stay on an ever rising logistic curve.

  12. S Brennan says:

    Well Barry, I read Kurt Eichenwald piece where he promises put to put aside the hackestry of his last article and to show “How It Solves the Suffering of the Insured”…after 20-30 paragraphs of additional hackestry I gave up.

    From “everything” is not “perfect” therefore ObamaCare/RomnyCare/GingrichCare/HeritagefoundationCare is just like Social Security [which it surely is not] to this piece of sophistry:

    “Overall, the uninsured receive less preventive care, are diagnosed at more advanced stages of disease, and once diagnosed, receive less therapeutic care than do the insured. Thus, lack of adequate insurance leads to premature death.”

    Sure that’s true, but that’s not a relevant comparison.

    Compare under-insured/catastrophic plans, which is what ObamaCare/…./HeritagefoundationCare will produce…if any part it, [except the fine/tax on the working poor], is ever actually implemented, to uninsured and you will see a line on line correlation between under-insured/catastrophic plans to no insurance. 2/3rd of medical bankruptcies are people with insurance…and that’s the vast majority of bankruptcy in the US. Medical bankruptcy is unknown to citizens of other industrial countries. ObamaCare/…./HeritagefoundationCare seeks to prop-up a failed system.

    Insurance reform was tried in the 90′s..it failed because stand alone, individual plan “free market” health insurance won’t work due to the nature of acute medical care and the predatory desire of the sociopaths to profit from others in their time of weakness. ObamaCare/…./HeritagefoundationCare will replace “pre-existing condition” with “out of plan / out of pocket”.

    In all probability, we will have argued mightily for six years of this Administration over a change of phraseology…and a fine/tax on the working class who are not offered insurance at work. This instead of fixing a horribly inefficient medical system, a host of pressing infrastructure projects, chronic un/under-employment, the emerging Stasi-state…all the while allowing the unbridled corruption and wars of the Bush administration accelerate under Obama.

    But for the sake of argument, let’s assume. ObamaCare/…./HeritagefoundationCare is “perfect”…then what have we got?

    A healthcare ranked far below the outcomes of every other industrial nation, below most 2nd tier countries, a system that belongs in the middle 3rd world rankings….And yet, costs twice as much.

    But okay, let’s assume:

    1] Insurance really is perfect and it takes the 20% of the premiums allotted by the plan as profit.

    2] The plan was universal, which is favorably false by a factor of 5.

    Then what have you got? Well, assuming perfection and all the other favorable lies, you’ve got a system that costs 1.8 times as much as the 2nd worst healthcare delivery system on earth…and yet, still produces crappy performance, barely in the upper half the world’s nations.

    In reality, ObamaCare/HeritagefoundationCare, won’t get anywhere near these optimum numbers, closer to an inferiority ratio of 1.975 to the 2nd worst in the world.

    a] And that’s if the, easily seen, real-time incompetence of the Administration’s implementation can be overcome.

    b] And the deeply flawed provisions…that allow for the “pre-existing condition – out of plan / out of pocket” switch-a-roo can be re-written out of the bill [highly doubtful]

    c] And that affected working-class buy a product that they can’t afford…and affords them no protection in either, the routine, or the catastrophic medical interventions.

    d] And the medical insurance companies suddenly change their spots and stop being the assholes we all know them to be. Remeber, their 20% cut doesn’t include all the doctors staff dedicated to making them pay-up when they are supposed to…a uniquely American problem.

    Comparing Social Security Insurance to ObamaCare/HeritagefoundationCare is pure sophistry and Kurt Eichenwald is a worthless hack.

    • Robert M says:

      The only person dealing in sophistry is you. No where in the Eichenwald article is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or any other social welfare program mentioned. So there is no comparison.

      As to affording the insurance there are tax credits and Cost Sharing features to reduce to cost to lower income folks, which you do not discuss. The issue of whether or not you receive the best care is the closest you come to making an argument for a problem in the PPACA. Yes there are plans that are HMO’s and hold your care to the providers, labs, et al to those in the HMO but they already exist in the current system. There are PPO’s like those of independence Blue Cross of PA(Philadelphia, PA) that provide care at different levels the Keystone HMO Silver Proactive is a great example. As this is what is called a future plan, in Western PA where Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is in competition for doctors, hospitals labs, et al w/ U of Pittsburgh Medical Center they in current state and years past have had guarantee issue plans(most are for people who lost their job but had group insurance so the could convert to an individual plan) that gave you a limited network, i.e not UPMC providers to provide an example for my earlier comment.

      What I must give you credit for is you explicitly acknowledge that much of the PPACA contains almost to the period ideas of the Heritage Foundation, a group that has gone into apoxlepsy in denying any ideas of theirs were used and doing everything to prevent the PPACA from going into effect.

      As to the cost issue of American health care, I am, I believe like you in favor of a universal system, with its attendant problems of the repair side of healthcare-the idea you can bring back to health someone who has never paid attention to their health till they could no longer take the pain and found out they have stage 4 cancer as opposed to stage 1 which would have been detected had they gone in for a regular checkup-which should provide lower costs as the profit part is eliminated or lessened.

  13. spooz says:

    “What We’ve Learned From The Finacial Crisis” brings up fact that economists with failed policies continue to run the policy show and consideration of alternatives isn’t a priority. Just identifying the failures isn’t enough, apparently. Such is the sad status quo. The conclusion is that *surely* corporations will come to their senses eventually. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

    “Still, corporations are subject to economic forces. If alternative approaches to understanding and managing them deliver better insights and better results than the economists’ principal-agent model, they surely stand at least a chance of prevailing.”

  14. > Ezra Klein: Thus Far, Obamacare a ‘Big Failure

    Too much too soon, and no doubt a bevy of political Congressional hearings will get to the bottom of it all . . . no doubt, also, that HHS will eventually get the issues worked out.

    One wonders how many of those going apoplectic over the Obamacare snags express similar sentiments for the multitude of big weapons programs that put these problems to shame . . . programs that almost predictably go tens of billions over budget, miss their schedules by years if not decades, and more often than not lay an egg even after all that.

    • S Brennan says:

      1.2 Billion for THAAD development program, the most complex hit to kill endo/exo, took ten year, radar development and integration, an extremely complex optical sensor, Kill vehicle, high speed booster, multiple launch & radar trucks, transportation canisters…and software, far more complex than anything ObamaCare/RomnyCare/GingrichCare/HeritagefoundationCare will ever need. At every stage, those who wanted to kill the program, are the same people who tout ObamaCare/…./HeritagefoundationCare today. In the end we developed the best, the most sophisticated missile intercept in the world today….for about the final price of ObamaCare/HeritagefoundationCare software.

      …and do you believe for one shining moment, that “bang for buck” the the USA won’t still be in last place in healthcare…C’mon…who ya kidding, ObamaCare/HeritagefoundationCare, just allows our unconscionable healthcare system to remain as it is for another 20 years

      Democrats who support ObamaCare/HeritagefoundationCare and
      Republicans who berate ObamaCare/HeritagefoundationCare are
      ….the worlds biggest hypocrites.

      Who ya kidding, ObamaCare/HeritagefoundationCare, just allows our unconscionable healthcare system to remain as it is for another 20 years…with subsidies to the same players who turned it into a national badge of shame.